Curriculum

Isca Academy
Curriculum Statement

At Isca Academy we regularly review our curriculum and endeavour to construct one which meets the needs of our diverse student body whilst ensuring that it is broad and balanced along with a high level of challenge. Our offer is both inclusive and demand led. Enriching students learning experiences beyond the classroom is also an integral part of our curriculum offer and life at Isca Academy. We have a rich tradition of providing outdoor education opportunities, after school activities as well as educational trips, visits and events.

In every aspect of learning we provide wider opportunities for personal and social development, designed to improve student confidence, resilience and teamwork, as well as to enthuse and inspire our students. 
Significant examples of our wider curriculum offer are:

These opportunities, coupled with an inspirational and relevant curriculum, build the skills and attributes necessary to become resilient, successful learners and highly effective citizens. All of our students study Religious Education and PSHE as well as enhanced topical themes that link to our tutorial and assembly programme. 

Our timetabled curriculum offer for all students is as follows for each year group:

  Year 7/8 Year 9 Year 10/11
Subject hours
  per week
hours
  per week
hours
  per week
English 8 8 8
Maths 8 8 8
Science 6 10 10***(12)
French (Spanish**) 4    
Geography 3    
History 3    
RE 2 3 4***(2)
Art* 4*    
Music* 4*    
Drama* 4*    
Textiles* 4*    
Computing 2    
Core PE 4    
Technology 4    
PSHE 2   1
Duke of Edinburgh   2  
OPTIONS      
Option 1   5 5
Option 2   5 5
Option 3   5 5
TOTAL 50 50 50

*Please note the Creative Arts subjects in Years 7 and 8 are taught on a rotation. Each student will study 2 of the subjects for 4 hours per fortnight. They will then swap each term.

**Students have the opportunity to study Spanish alongside French in Year 8.

***Students studying separate sciences have 12 lessons in total per fortnight and only 2 RE lessons. 

Our current offer of Options Subjects for year 9, 10 and 11 students are:

Year 8 Options Process for 2019

Bold = EBacc subjects
*   =  Vocational courses 
NB: All subjects are GCSE’s unless otherwise indicated. 

Year 8 Options


Isca Academy GCSE Options Process

2019 Options Presentation for Parents
Year 8 Options Process for 2019

How do we approach the GCSE Options Process at Isca Academy?

Our GCSE Options process begins in the Spring term of Year 8. Students make choices about which subjects they will continue towards a GCSE-level qualification. Our students begin to study their GCSE courses in Year 9 so that they have plenty of time to study the subject in depth. A three-year course allows students to engage with the complex ideas and knowledge the new GCSE specifications require. 

All students study the following core subjects in Year 9:  

  • English

  • Maths

  • Science

  • RE

  • PE

  • D of E (Year 9 only)

Students must choose at least one subject from the group below. These subjects are known as the “EBacc” subjects*. 

  • French

  • Spanish

  • Geography

  • History

  • Computer Science

*These subjects are often needed to gain entry into academic courses at universities. A student achieves the EBacc if he or she achieves a Grade 4 or better in the following subjects

  • English Language and Literature

  • Maths

  • a Language

  • Geography or history

  • the Sciences

Our option subjects are grouped into blocks to enable timetabling and staffing to work across the school. Below is an example of the blocks model last year. Students choose one subject from each block. 

Option block A
French
Computing
Geography
History
Dance
Resistant Materials
Drama

Option block B
French
Geography
History
Spanish
Art
Drama
Food and Nutrition
Photography

Option block C
Geography
History
Spanish
Futsal
PE
Food and Nutrition
Music

What happens if a student wishes to change their Option course?

We want every student to make careful, informed choices for their Option subjects; this is why we devote considerable time in Year 8 to supporting students with advice and information before a decision is submitted. Where a student wishes to change a subject, we ask for written parental confirmation supporting this change, before examining whether a change is possible. 

We consider this on a case-by-case basis, considering the reasons behind the wish to change subjects as well as restrictions that may exist because of timetable, staffing or group sizes. We have often been able to facilitate such changes but there have been instances where it has not been possible to change a student’s GCSE course. Please be prepared for this. 

 

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